What Workers Want Depends: Legal Knowledge and the Desire for Workplace Change among Day Laborers

TitleWhat Workers Want Depends: Legal Knowledge and the Desire for Workplace Change among Day Laborers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsTrautner, Mary Nell, Hatton, Erin, and Smith, Kelly E.
JournalLaw & Policy
Volume35
Issue4
Pagination319 - 340
Keywordsday laborers, employment law, job satisfaction, labor law, unionization, workers’ rights
Abstract

In this article, we identify legal knowledge as a key difference between workers who desire workplace change and those who do not. Based on surveys with 121 day laborers, we find that not all day laborers are equally dissatisfied with their jobs, despite uniformly difficult working conditions. Some day laborers do not want to make any real changes to the day labor industry, while others desire a range of industry changes, from higher wages to greater government regulation and unionization. A key difference between these workers is their knowledge of employment law: Those who know the law are more likely to desire workplace change.